Graphics and performance problems in Portal

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Hot Shot., Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    I took advantage of the free Portal download through Steam a few weeks ago, and noticed some problems.

    First off, the writing on the walls(and the readout on the radios) is blurry and unreadable. I know this isn't normal for the console versions, but is it normal for the PC version?

    [​IMG]

    The second problem is probably easier to solve. The game gets choppy a lot. Audio, visual, controls, everything. I've never played such a large game on this computer since we bought it in 2008(Windows Vista), so chances are something is out of date or insuffecient.

    I updated the drivers this morning for the NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 graphics card, but that didn't help. I've got 3 GB of RAM, so that may not be the problem. Nothing is running in the background that uses more than 2-9% of the CPU at a time. I also defragmented the hard drive last night.

    So...help?
     
  2. Brainchild

    Brainchild Dark Flame Master

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    For your first problem, you don't have the texture quality set high enough.
    For the second, your graphics card is kinda awful for gaming. More of an integrated graphics chip, rather. I had one in my computer from 2007. You can still play Portal, but everything will have to be set to the lowest quality if you want the game to run at a solid rate.
     
  3. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on the game. Some games, such as Valve powered games (like Portal/Left 4 Dead) do have items like this and they are readable, while others do not. It just adds to the backgrounds but isn't important most times.

    As it was said, your textures are set too low. But...you have a problem and we'll be getting to that in a moment.

    Definitely insufficient. Definitely. Even though the hardware was certified to run Vista, doesn't mean it's actually capable of doing so. Vista was and still is a mess. However, if you have hardware that is legitimately certified and not just a sticker saying so, then it should be quite powerful. However, like me, you got screwed and ended up with a PC that can run Vista but isn't certified for it.

    And there's your problem...GeForce 6150 SE graphics. It's an onboard chipset and as such, borrows from system resources to perform it's operations. By the amount of RAM and chipset, I'm assuming you have a Compaq/HP model. So do I. I know it inside and out, due to upgrading it, before I built a new one.

    You shouldn't be able to play it, period, but you can because Valve games are processor intensive, rather than GPU intensive. The CPU does the bulk of the work, but can only do so much. You really do need a GPU upgrade in the form of a graphics card.

    You need a minimum of a 7000 or 8000 series GeForce GPU. However, once you get a taste of Portal, you'll want to play L4D and other Steam offerings, trust me, once you have a taste of the forbidden fruit, you go back for more. lol

    Oh and if you look at most of their games, it usually says "Laptop/motherboard integrated chipsets may work, but aren't officially supported." A graphics card has it's own resources and takes back the shared system memory from the onboard video and frees up some resources as well.

    You can find 7000 and 8000 cards, both used ones and new, but outdated graphics cards from that era, but if you're going to spend money, you might as well spend on a good card to help futureproof for a while. I'd say you should spend a minimum of $100.00 You can find midrange cards for that price that will be more than enough to power Portal and the like on medium settings at around 1024 x 768 or 1366 x 768. You won't be able to do 1080p or better filtering without spending more than $100.00

    Here's the catch...you'll most likely need to upgrade your PSU to accommodate the GPU. However, if you have a HP/Compaq with a 250 watt Bestec PSU (you'll be able to see once you open the case, the sticker will say) or a 300 watt PSU, you'll be able to run a lot of fanless GPUs. One with a fan that will run on a 250-300 watt PSU without popping it is a GeForce GT 220. It says 300, but it'll run without popping the PSU that came with the tower. I speak from personal experience.

    However, until you can make this upgrade a possibility, here's what I recommend:

    1.) Turn the resolution all the way down to 640 x 480 or 800 x 600.
    2.) Turn all of the graphics settings down or off.
    3.) Go to the audio menu and turn the quality to low.
    4.) Go to the nvidia control panel, select the 3D settings option and move the slider to High Performance or Low (I can't remember what it's called, off hand.)

    The game will look crappy, well...downright awful, but it'll be at least somewhat playable.

    I recommend you get a graphics card and a soundcard to relieve the system of it's strain and free up those resources and you'll have a much better experience. You'd be surprised how much is used by the onboard audio and video. It's just enough to get you through to surf with, but not to actually enjoy. They want you to upgrade it and keep using it.
     
  4. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    Yikes. I guess I've got some work to do. Thanks, guys.
     

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